Saturday, 7 May 2011

What did they see?

Luke 24:13-49

13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 

I'm curious about what captured those folk who walked, with Jesus, all the way to Emmaus and then, when he broke bread, were captivated by him. What was it that prompted their recognition? What was it that allowed the final penny to drop? I like to think that, like so many of us, it was a gradual dawning of awareness, a slow burn that allowed their hearts to be open and receptive until it all made sense.
Conversion is, for most of us, a journey, not a blinding moment of revelation. It comes, a bit here, a bit there. Neither is it complete in one moment, but leads on into a lifetime of further discovery and learning. In our everyday, God prompts moments of illumination, most of which we miss, but, occasionally, the scales fall from our eyes and we gain another glimpse of the wonder and joy that is the Risen Christ, present in our midst. In those moments, we know communion.

Trudging along the same old paths
with companions old and new
enjoying the familiarity of what we know so well
until God confounds us
and stops us in our tracks
and makes us look again.
Suddenly our step gets lighter
and our heart beats faster
when we realise anew
that the Risen Christ
falls into step with us
and shows us
all that is new
in the tiredness of our lives.
And so we journey on
with another piece of the puzzle
slotted into place
but with many more
fluttering in the wind
and one day we might understand
that it doesn't all have to make sense.
It is what it is.
But in the roller coaster of the journey
the Risen Christ laughs and cries
and scoops us up
and sets us down
and shrieks in delight
as we begin to get it.
Liz Crumlish May 2011


Terri said...

oh, lovely. thank you.

RevAlli said...

Beautiful, Liz. Thank you.

Beth said...

Love the thoughts . . . love you!